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  Category: Articles » Arts & Entertainment » Poetry » Article

To Rhyme is not a Crime

By Evangeline Auld

Article with personal views on poetry, discussing the part played by rhyming in modern poetry and making a plea for more rhyming poetry as opposed to free verse.

You may republish this article, but must keep the resource box and copyright at the end.
(388 words)

I have a confession to make. I love reading poetry, but when I hear it read aloud I am filled with embarrassment, so much so that I squirm and suffer until the reading is over. It is nothing to do with the reader - it is just me. Why should this be, I wonder. Shakespeare's plays don't affect me
this way, but almost everything else does.
Perhaps someone can explain this.

I try to write a little poetry myself and dread anyone reading it in my presence because of the
embarrassment factor.

Now that is off my chest, I would like to talk about modern rhyming poetry. In my view, this is considered far too often as the poor relation of free verse 'real' poetry. So many of the most highly commended and prize-winning modern poems are to me more like prose, arranged as poetry.
Poets in earlier generations contrived to produce great poems, which rhymed and scanned. Why not now? However, there were exceptions, as in the case of the Scottish poet, William McGonagall.
An example of his style?? (see below) might be
enough to give someone an aversion to rhymes, or
even poetry altogether!

"An Excursion Steamer Sunk in the Tay by
William Topaz McGonagall

And they left the Craig Pier at half-past two o'clock
Never thinking they would meet with an accidental shock"

As far as I can ascertain, rhymes are now, in the main, reserved for humorous verse and children's poetry. Alliteration and onomatopoeia are not neglected in the same way as is rhyming, and yet good rhymes do at the very least make a verse much easier to recall. A well-constructed poem with shape
and form provides a certain satisfaction not always found in free verse.

Poets who write in a natural voice are not restricted by a rhyming mode. Robert Burns wrote some of his most powerful poetry in natural voice, and rhyming verse.

These thoughts on poetry are personal impressions only, - perhaps some readers may be of the same mind.

Mizzmouse All rights reserved.

Evangeline Auld
About the Author
Evangeline Auld
Advocate of friendly persuasion and ethical marketing. Amateur poet - winner of Swift International Satire Poetry Prize 2006.

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